International Security and Estonia 2019
Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service
ISSN 2613-327X (online version)
March 13, 2019)
The task of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service is to protect Estonia from external security threats. We collect and analyse intelligence and forward information to the state leadership to assist in its defence and security policy-making tasks. Our 2019 report is the fourth time that we are sharing our assessments with the public, as an effective defence and security policy begins with greater awareness of the threats.

The main external security threat for Estonia arises from Russia’s behaviour, which undermines the international order. Russia conducts its foreign policy by demonstrating its military force, by using the dependence of other states on Russia’s energy carriers, and by conducting cyber attacks and influence operations using false information and other ‘soft’ tools. Ukraine will be the main target of those measures this year, but Russia will not hesitate to use them even against its ally, Belarus.

Countries in the European Union and NATO are not fully protected from Russia’s aggressive activities, either – it has only been a year since Russia used a chemical weapon on the territory of the United Kingdom.

The report deals with different aspects of Russia as a military threat. Russia continues to develop and train its armed forces for a large-scale war against NATO. Even though the likelihood of a worst-case scenario is slim, surprises arranged by its authoritarian regime cannot be excluded.

The report also covers the development of the terrorist threat. The military campaign against IS and the systematic counter-terrorism efforts of European law enforcement agencies and security services made it more difficult for IS to conduct operations in Europe. Nevertheless, terrorism continues to influence the security of Europe as a whole in 2019.

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